Friday, September 11, 2020

Los Angeles Rams Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Los Angeles Rams rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 18.4 (17th)
  • Best ranking: 11th (ESPN)
  • Worst ranking: 23rd (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Rams in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 20

Sean McVay took a big swing this offseason, replacing legendary defensive coordinator Wade Phillips with up-and-comer Brandon Staley. If that move pays off and Staley can find a way to build a top-10 defense around Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, the Rams can get back to the postseason. If that move backfires, their defense could really struggle. Offensively, it's all about the offensive line performing better than it did last season and Jared Goff cutting down on negative plays. If things go well, running back Cam Akers could be a sleeper for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 21

Coach Sean McVay changed up his coordinators this year, which could be a way to get this team back on track. I just think they have some major holes on defense, mainly edge rush.

USA Today -- Rank: 23

When your No. 4 receiver (second-rounder Van Jefferson) commands most of training camp's buzz ... welp, kinda sets expectations for season.

ESPN -- Rank: 11

How will the offense perform without Todd Gurley?

Lindsey Thiry: It's no secret Gurley's production declined last season, but the 2018 Offensive Player of the Year still demanded the attention of opposing defenses. Now, quarterback Jared Goff must take a greater command of the offense, while the trio of Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson Jr. and Cam Akers must quickly prove themselves as threats out of the backfield. -- Rank: 17

Jared Goff might be the Least Valuable Player on Hard Knocks (the man could put a rabid raccoon to sleep with his monotone delivery), but it feels like people have prematurely written him off as a quarterback who can be a difference-maker. Yes, last year was not pretty, and it's fair to wonder if Goff's statue-like presence in the pocket will continue to be an issue behind the Rams' suspect offensive line. But Goff is still just 25, and he's proven in the past he can light up defenses in Sean McVay's scheme. With Todd Gurley out of the picture, McVay (still one of the game's best minds, by the way) has had an offseason to cook up an attack that puts his QB in the best position to succeed. Cue the Goffaissance!

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